Gridiron Continues Big Data and AI Capability Build

Gridiron Capital has hired John Nives as an operating partner to expand the firm’s capabilities in digital marketing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Mr. Nives’ expertise in digital, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence transformation will be used to boost the capabilities of Gridiron’s portfolio companies and to evaluate new investment opportunities.

Gridiron invests in manufacturing, service and specialty consumer companies that have EBITDAs from $8 million to $50 million. Sectors of interest include branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial. In October 2016, Gridiron held a final closing of the firm’s third fund, Gridiron Capital Fund III LP, at the hard cap of $850 million.

From 2013 to 2017, Mr. Nives was with IBM where he was active with the company’s efforts developing Watson, its computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language. Beginning in 2017, he joined the Rutgers University faculty where he teaches Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Executives. His prior other experience includes leadership positions at Nielsen, IRI, AT&T, and Kraft. Mr. Nives has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Buffalo and an MBA in Finance and Computer Science from Pace University.

“Gridiron Capital sees a competitive advantage in the application of advanced digital and artificial intelligence capabilities across the Gridiron platform,” said Tom Burger, co-founder and managing partner of Gridiron. “We are excited to continue to expand upon capabilities we started building several years ago. John is an excellent cultural fit with Gridiron and brings additional expertise and capacity for us to continue building businesses and winning together with our portfolio companies and our prospective partners.”

“John’s knowledge and experience in predictive analytics and enterprise-level artificial intelligence is leading to differentiated growth opportunities for Gridiron and for our partnership companies,” said Kevin Jackson, a managing partner. “We are excited to have John join our team.  His skills add depth and compliment the firm’s already strong team and existing digital capabilities.”

Gridiron Capital is based in New Canaan, CT (www.gridironcapital.com).

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | December 13, 2018

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